“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles…” It sounds like some faraway place, unknown, inhospitable. In reality, it is the place where Jesus grew, where he began his mission, and where he called his first disciples.
It is the “Galilee of Gentiles”. It is not the religious or the spiritual center of the Jews. On the contrary, it is the place of the rebellious people, not very devoted to the religious leaders in Jerusalem. It is the place from where “nothing good can come”. And yet, it is the place where everything began, the place was chosen by God to be born. Unthinkable, improbable, surprising, unexpectable. That’s how Jesus is.
Sometimes the good thing comes from the less possible places or situations. Sometimes the light shines brighter in the places of darkness. Are our minds and hearts open enough to see and receive it? The Church is urging us to enter fully on the path of sinodality. It means, of dialogue and listen to one another, and also to be attentive to the voices that come from those “outside” of the mainstream. Because God’s Spirit is alive and operating in the most unexpected places. It is not restrained to the “proper” places of religion.
There are times that I ask myself if I would have believed in Jesus if I had lived in his time. He was an outsider, his disciples came from the “Galilee of Gentiles”, he questioned the status quo of his society. How do I treat today the outsiders of my time, of my society? Am I able to question things that seem unquestionable? Am I able to see in light the ideas coming from those who don’t agree with my way of life? Maybe I am scared to become like them: “Gentile”, outsider, non-orthodox… Still, I pray to keep my mind and heart open for the unthinkable surprises of the Spirit.